DIY Lemon Sugar Scrub


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Did you know sugar contains natural alpha-hydrolic acids that exfoliate & soften your skin? Three ingredients is all you need to make this Lemon Sugar Scrub!

This is a guest post from Gabby at Mom Makes Joy

Happy Monday! This is Gabby back again from Mom Makes Joy, and today I wanted to share with you a quick tutorial on how to whip up your own simple sugar scrub for way less than the cost of expensive store-bought skin moisturizing and exfoliating products. If you’ve never made a sugar scrub before, you’re really in for a treat! It makes a great gift, and quite frankly with Mother’s Day just around the corner you simply can’t go wrong giving this DIY lemon sugar scrub a try!


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For this tutorial I will be making a lemon sugar scrub, but it is incredibly easy to adapt this recipe and come up with some amazing scrub creations. Feel free to play around with the type of sugar you use, the essential oils you scent it with, and the different carrier oils and other additives you can mix in. All of these ingredients can be purchased at your local grocery store or online, and your finished product will easily cost less than a quarter of what you might pay in stores. Even better, it won’t be full of the chemicals & preservatives often found in manufactured skin care items!

So let’s get started, shall we?

Assemble the ingredients: sugar, lemon and coconut oil.

Here is what you need:

1 cup white sugar
1/4+ cups Coconut oil (substitutions listed below)
Lemon essential oil
8 oz. mason jar

Scoop out a cup of coconut oil for this easy sugar scrub.

Step 1: Measure out 1 cup of white sugar and place it in a mixing bowl.

Add the oil to the sugar in your mixing bowl to form the base of your sugar scrub.

Step 2: Measure out your coconut oil. The amount of oil you use is up to you, but you might consider starting with 1/4 cup and going from there. If you’re allergic to coconuts, you could substitute coconut oil for almond oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, etc. I chose coconut oil, however, since I love the slightly sweet scent it carries and because it is a solid at room temperature. As a result, I’ve found that it is marginally better at staying mixed in with the sugar. In addition to smelling fantastic, coconut oil is great for your skin (and even good for cooking!).

When you've measure the ingredients for your sugar scrub, stir them together to combine.

Step 3: Mix your coconut oil with your sugar until your mixture becomes almost light and fluffy looking, adding more or less coconut oil until you have your desired consistency. How moist you would like your scrub to be is completely up to you!

Add a few drops of essential oil, like this Lemon oil from doTERRA.

Step 4:  Add your essential oils to give your mixture a nice lemony scent! You could put in any essential oil you prefer, but be sure to check out this post to get the lowdown on which essential oils are safe for topical use. I put in about 15 drops of this essential oil, but you may opt for more or less. 

Pour your DIY lemon sugar scrub into a cute jar, so you can share it with friends as a gift.

Step 5: Place your sugar scrub in a clean 8 oz. mason jar (wide mouth or regular mouth size, as shown above), making sure that no water is left over in your jar from washing it. Then enjoy! To use your scrub, scoop out about a spoonful and rub it in your hands as though you were washing your hands with soap, allowing the oil to moisturize your skin while the sugar exfoliates. Rinse your hands with cool water once you have worked in the scrub and enjoy your silky smooth skin!

Blogger Gabby Whitaker of Essentially Eclectic was a guest author on this post. Gabby Whitaker of Mom Makes Joy is a DIY/Craft/Lifestyle Blogger from Phoenix, Arizona. After moving to Boston, Massachusetts in the Summer of 2012, she started blogging as a way to share her crafting creations, cooking escapades, and adventures in Boston with friends and family across the country. Some of Gabby’s favorite things include Chai lattes, Downton Abbey, cozy bookstores, Netflix marathons, and of course, blogging!


  1. Jessie
    April 21 at 11:35AM

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  2. Krissy
    April 21 at 09:52PM

    Can this be used on the face?

    • Anonymous
      July 9 at 08:47AM

      use brown sugar instead of white for face; for mixture.

      • Anonymous
        September 22 at 02:06PM

        What is the difference between sugars?

        • November 18 at 10:31AM

          Usually when making sugar scrubs, one would use different sugars for a different consistency in the scrub. White sugar is more fine than brown sugar. I think that’s the main difference (from what I’ve read).

          • Anonymous
            October 30 at 04:25PM

            Is there a liquid coconut oil? Or just the cream type?

            • Anonymous
              December 12 at 11:15PM

              Coconut oil becomes liquid above 77 degrees, if I remember correctly. Just warm it up in your microwave for a few seconds!

            • Anonymous
              December 22 at 01:09PM

              You can get fractionated coconut oil which stays liquid.

              • October 18 at 02:27PM

                you can find liquid coconut oil in the isle of the health & beauty items in Walmart

      • Anonymous
        November 6 at 10:38AM

        The only difference between white and brown sugar is molasses. So is molasses good for your face?

    • November 18 at 10:30AM

      Hi Krissy! Personally, I would not. Coconut oil is VERY oily, and I really don’t like that on my face. The skin on the face is very sensitive, so I avoid everything but very light lotions designed for facial use on my face. Sugar scrubs are great for dry hands and feet, but generally your face doesn’t get dry enough to warrant this much moisture/exfoliation! (to my knowledge, anyway). 🙂

      • October 20 at 03:02AM

        I use a little Baking Soda mixed with Coconut Oil. The B.Soda is alot finer and has a smoother texture on my skin. Don’t scrub too hard on the face.
        I have even massaged this mixture into my scalp before shampooing as a preconditioner. Then shampoo as usual. Scalp feels great and hair feels so soft.

      • Lori
        January 13 at 09:11PM

        If you substitute most of the coconut oil and use aloe Vera gel with a little coconut oil and I use half white sugar and half sea salt, which is wonderful for your skin, and it works great on your face. My kids who are in their 20’s love it also, so it’s for all ages.

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    • Anonymous
      December 8 at 11:38PM

      Wow….that’s the best I can come up with for this. Ha ha

  4. April 22 at 10:13AM

    Gotta try this

  5. April 22 at 03:08PM

    Cant wait to give this a try!! I live down in Puerto Rico right now and although some items will ship down here, a lot will not and I am in need of a good scrub. I might try making a big batch to use a gifts too!

  6. laura
    April 22 at 06:13PM

    I tried this and it took a lot more coconut oil to get it to look like yours…. I wound up adding in olive oil and a lot more lemon to cancel out the olive oil smell… whoops!

  7. April 24 at 09:25AM

    This looks good enough to eat. Of course that is the point of these natural products. I love them. Would you consider sharing this with my readers on Oil me Up Wednesdays at My lamp is full?

  8. Anonymous
    April 27 at 10:17PM

    Did anyone else find it took double the coconut oil to make a good consistency? Maybe bc my coconut oil was solid and not liquidy, might try heating a bit first next time. Love the final product either way! Makes my hands soo soft and fresh smelling 🙂 Thanks for a great post!

    • Anonymous
      April 9 at 09:30PM

      I used more coconut oil and added a little sweet almond oil. I also added more lemon, it just wasn’t enough for me. 🙂

  9. I’m going to make this as a favor for my friends Bridal Shower in 2 months. I just want to know how much these amounts make? Is that what I need for each 8oz jar?

  10. Anonymous
    June 5 at 02:25PM

    Awesome ! Can’t wait to make! Is there an “expiration” date on a scrub like this? I want to give it as gifts but want to tell them how long they have to use it! Thanks!

    • Kat
      June 23 at 06:13AM

      I would like to know this as well. Will this go bad at room temp, or should we refrigerate?

  11. Layla
    June 13 at 10:10AM

    hi, I’d just like to ask how long does this store before it goes bad? thanks!

  12. June 20 at 05:45AM

    can i use brown cane sugar?

    • Ruth Soukup
      June 20 at 12:15PM

      I don’t see why not!

  13. Jane
    June 21 at 08:08AM

    I made a scrub like this recently, all was good until the weather starred getting warm. Then all of a sudden the sugar completely melted so I was left with a bag of oil. Is there a trick to getting this to not happen?

  14. LaSonia
    August 8 at 10:16PM

    You can refrigerate it.

  15. Sasha
    November 5 at 06:49PM

    I would really love to try this, I am just stuck on the sugar part. I had no idea there would be sugar in this. O_O

    Thank for the post!!

    • Anonymous
      December 13 at 09:22PM

      It’s called a lemon sugar scrub….why did you think there was no sugar…

  16. Anonymous
    November 15 at 11:41AM

    If u dont prefer sugar, make it a salt scrub@ Sasha : )

  17. AmandaRae
    November 17 at 11:41PM

    What can you use instead of E.O. – if you don’t have any?

    • Anonymous
      January 1 at 04:45PM

      I think no oil would just mean no scent, but I dunno.

  18. stephanie
    December 7 at 02:54PM

    I’ve made this three times with coconut and with almond oil and I love it. I’ve done peppermint too. It works great and holds up in my house in Florida without it going bad before it’s used. My 4-year old is giving this as presents to her babysitters. Thanks for the wonderful idea and recipe. The only mods I make are I use a lot more essential oil when using coconut or you really just smell the coconut.

  19. Anonymous
    December 7 at 09:12PM

    Can you use actual lemon juice?

  20. Sonja Jasovsky
    December 10 at 09:06AM

    Before you add the sugar microwave the coconut oil
    to soften it! At higher temperatures it is liquid.

  21. Ayesha
    December 11 at 05:19PM

    Has anyone experienced the coconut oil solidifying after a few days? I had this happen with another scrub I made and had to add some olive oil since I read that keeps the coconut oil liquid instead of reverting back to solid. Will I need to do that for this scrub?

    • Anonymous
      June 7 at 08:42AM

      Coconut oil begins to solidify at room temps – it will liquefy when you scoop it out with your hands

  22. A Travis
    December 14 at 09:54AM

    I now have two jars of coconut oil; one for the kitchen, and one that lives on the bathroom register for skin care.
    Yes, the coconut oil can seem greasy, especially when switching from commercial moisturizers that contain water, or glycerin, as the first ingredient. It only takes a few drops for my face. That is why a jar now lives on the register, to keep it in liquid form so I am not dipping out too much solid – which liquefies quickly at body temperature.

  23. December 21 at 08:51AM

    Oh how I love sugar scrubs. Thanks for the recipe. Pinned it!

  24. February 12 at 03:09PM

    For those worrying about the smell of the coconut oil. If you use refined coconut oil, the smell is gone. I made these as customer gifts int the 4 oz mason jars. I printed some pretty labels on paper, which I “laminated” with clear packaging tape and hot glued them to the lids. A nice ribbon with a label and my logo on it, and voilà. My ladies absolutely loved them.

  25. Anonymous
    July 12 at 07:48PM

    can you use fresh lemon and would you use this on your face ?

    • Ruth Soukup
      July 13 at 02:02PM

      You can not substitute fresh lemon juice for lemon oil since one is made from the pulpy part of the lemon and lemon oil is made from the peel. Depending on how sensitive your skin is would determine if you could use it on your face.

  26. Bre
    July 29 at 09:11PM

    Just made this and love it. I actually didn’t put much lemon oil in it because I rather liked the smell of the coconut oil. So simple and to think I was paying $12..50 for a tube of this at bath and body works and it wasn’t organic. Cheers

  27. Anaflavia
    July 31 at 02:55PM

    Can you use actual lemon juice instead?

  28. Cheyenne
    September 6 at 02:09PM

    I love this scrub. Where do you keep it though?

  29. Anonymous
    October 27 at 07:02PM

    Is this edible?

  30. kerkie
    December 8 at 08:57PM

    Personally, when I make a scrub, it’s the same thing as what is on this list, but I add one thing: liquid glycerin. I find that it keeps the sugar from hardening, makes my skin feel lovely and hydrated without being oily, and, because I’m using less coconut oil, it doesn’t make the tub as slippery.

  31. Heather puffer
    October 29 at 09:38AM

    What is the recipe so we know how much of what to use?

  32. Meredith
    November 14 at 06:08PM

    I just made this and am thrilled with the results! I used a different essential oil, still therapeutic grade so it is safe for skin contact. I used organic coconut oil ordered from Brandless (LOVE that site). I plan to make up a bunch of this scrub and give jars to family and friends for Christmas gifts!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

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